Vizier (Ancient Egypt)

Tjati is the ancient Egyptian official title of vizier, which is attested as early as the Old Kingdom. It is about the first and top officials, who was the second man in the state after the Pharaoh. The office of vizier was first occupied only by princes, and later also from closer confidant of the king.

In Egyptology suggestions were discussed with regard to the function and origin of Tjati associated with the early titles Tjet. Wolfgang Helck assumed that initially the main son of the king held the post Tjet.


In the Old and Middle Kingdom of Egypt there was only a vizier in the residence. At the end of the Old Kingdom, there were in addition to these but also those which their headquarters in the province, such as had at Abydos or Meir.

This is also attested in the early Middle Kingdom, where there were viziers to the royal residence, but also in the province, at Deir el- Bersheh. In the New Kingdom there were at least since the reign of Thutmose III. for the kingdom of parts of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, each with its own vizier. This division of the Office is also documented for the late period. The last viziers are occupied in the 30th Dynasty.

The vizier was the middleman between Pharaoh (king) and other officials. He was also the supreme judicial body in the country and coordinator of the provincial administration, which was led by nomarchs.


In some grave sites of viziers of the New Kingdom there was the so-called Instructions to the vizier, the reports on the daily tasks and duties of the viziers. Since the 13th dynasty an official attire of the vizier is occupied. It is a long robe, under which a chain can be seen. The necklace pendant is covered respectively by the robe. It has been suggested that it could well have been the official seal or around the figure of Maat.


The vizier was regarded as a kind of top ministers. He fulfilled practically tasks tion states the king and had this report daily. He controlled the district princes in the provinces and lands, distributed officials and workers salaries and was responsible for the tax revenue. Furthermore, he had the superintendence of the military and foreign trade, was site manager and chief judge, recruited soldiers, oversaw the police and the passing ships and was directly responsible for the workers' settlement of Deir el -Medina. In addition, he had to report natural events such as the rising of Sirius, the Nile flood and rain.

Significant viziers

Significant viziers of Egyptian history were Nefermaat, Hemiunu, Ptahhotep and Kagemni (which were still worshiped in the late period ) in the Old Kingdom, Amenemhat (possibly later King Amenemhet I. ) in the Middle Kingdom, as well as Rekhmire, Paser, Chay, Neferrenpet and Ta in new Kingdom.

Title consequences

The term Tjati rarely appears alone in Egyptian title series. In the Old Kingdom is the typical title sequence: sab, taiti, tjati ( sab official who is part of the curtain, vizier ). From the Middle Kingdom, the title sequence is imi -ra nut, tjati ( ruler of the city and vizier ) to the rule.